Volume 38 Number 3
INSIDE â€Ś Talking about Black history is imperative for our progress ......... 4 Congress hears about a Just Transition, RECLAIM gets committee approval .................. 7, 8
May 22, 2019
City residents claiming their space, defining their priorities .......... 14, 15 Gearing up for the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting ............ 20-24 Staff hirings as we mourn the loss of a former KFTC organizer ...... 25, 26
KFTC, Sunrise Movement, SEIU and more
A powerful coalition to create a new energy economy in Kentucky â€Ś pg 12
Change Service Requested
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth P.O. Box 1450 London, Ky. 40743
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
2 | Balancing the Scales
is a statewide grassroots social justice organi zation working for a new balance of power and a just society. KFTC uses direct-action organizing to accomplish the following goals: • foster democratic values • change unjust institutions • empower individuals • overcome racism and other discrimination • communicate a message of what’s possible • build the organization • help people participate • win issues that affect the common welfare • have fun KFTC membership dues are $15 to $50 per year, based on ability to pay. No one is denied membership because of inability to pay. Membership is open to anyone who is committed to equality, democracy and nonviolent change.
KFTC Steering Committee Meta Mendel-Reyes, chairperson Cassia Herron, vice chairperson Christian Torp, secretary-treasurer Amy Copelin, at-large member Mary Love, at-large member Chapter Representatives Mikaela Curry, Big Sandy Carly Muetterties, Central Kentucky David Miller, Cumberland Chase Gladson, Harlan County Connor Allen, Jefferson County Rebecca Tucker, Madison County Melissa Roth, Northern Kentucky Chanda Campbell, Perry County Amelia Cloud, Rolling Bluegrass Fannie Madden-Grider, Rowan County Joy Fitzgerald, Shelby County Summer Bolton, Southern Kentucky Amanda Groves, Western Kentucky Shannon Scott, Wilderness Trace Alternates: Katricia Rogers, Big Sandy; Kaelyn Payton, Central Kentucky; Damien Hammons, Cumberland; Sheyanna Gladson, Harlan County; vacant, Jefferson County; Adam Funck, Madison County; Lauren Gabbard, Northern Kentucky; Russell Oliver & Susan Hull, Perry County; Carol Hurn, Rolling Bluegrass; Ezra Dike, Rowan County; Cynthia Dare, Shelby County; Teresa Christmas, Southern Kentucky; Jim Gearhart, Western Kentucky; Margaret Gardiner, Wilderness Trace
Table of Contents Voter Empowerment Photo celebration of Action for Democracy work . .................................................................... 3 Voting rights restoration hits close to home for Bobby Duff................................................... 5 National Popular Vote: the majority of voters should decide................................................... 6 Racial Justice Talking Black history in Kentucky: learning from each other....................................................4 New Energy and Just Transition Help us create a bright future, Carl Shoupe tells Congress....................................................... 7 RECLAIM Act approved by U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, 26-10................... 8 KFTC building movement with Climate Justice alliance............................................................. 9 Support for solar growing statewide, despite legislative setback.......................................... 9 Unpacking the electricity rate increases for LG&E and KU..................................................... 10 Spring and summer energy efficiency tips.................................................................................... 10 New online resources support Energy Democracy vision.........................................................11 Kentuckians ready for a Just Transition and Green New Deal................................................12 Honoring indigenous rights a welcome part of Green New Deal...........................................13 Local Updates – Building Grassroots Power Residents claim ownership of public spaces in Berea............................................................... 14 Community forum gives Bowling Green residents a common focus ..................................15 Bowling Green residents continue to work for local Fairness .............................................. 15 Louisville members challenge budget decisions by the mayor..............................................16 Madison members celebrate anniversary........................................................................................16 Economic Justice Retirement board could end pension mess, fails to do so........................................................17 Kentucky General Assembly Lingering reflections and reports on the legislative session....................................................18 Environmental Justice Maintaining high standards needed to protect, clean up state’s water resources..........19 KFTC News Annual chapter meetings an important part of KFTC’s democratic process.................. 20 Annual Membership Meeting: Understanding, celebrating Action for Democracy.........21 2019 keynote speaker: Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson...............................................................21 Disability Justice 101 – learn more at the annual meeting........................................................22 Annual Membership Meeting: Schedule of Activities ............................................................. 23 Annual Membership Meeting: Registration .................................................................................24 Remembering Tom Pearce’s passion for people and justice..................................................25 Chandra Cruz-Thomson and Corey Dutton join KFTC staff in Louisville............................26 KFTC Calendar of Events ................................................................................................................... 27 Balancing the Scales is published by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and sent as third class mail from Louisville. Reader contributions and letters to the editor should be sent to P.O. Box 864, Prestonsburg, KY 41653 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscriptions are $20/yr.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 3
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
4 | Balancing the Scales
Talking Black history in Kentucky: learning from each other By Judi Jennings, Jefferson County Chapter I believe that in our predominantly white state, Kentuckians in general and KFTC members in particular have too few safe spaces to learn and talk about the contributions and challenges of Black people here. As a life-long Kentuckian, I further believe that learning and talking about Black History is imperative for our future progress and a necessary step to valuing the full range and diversity of all peoples who make us who we are as a state. In March, Kathryn Engle, a KFTC member and native eastern Kentuckian, and I worked together to create a cross-state conversation about Black History with Lexington-born and raised, now nationally known scholar, Dr. George Wright. Wright is the author of three books on Black experiences in Kentucky, including studies of racial violence and lynching across the state and “polite forms of racism” in Louisville. Engle and I also recruited Sharyn Mitchell, Research Services Specialist at Berea College Library, as a partner. She quickly proved to be indispensable in her knowledge of Black genealogy and history in eastern Kentucky and beyond. Working together with mutual love and respect, despite a very short timeline, the four of us were able to produce an online webinar “Conversation about the Black Experience in Kentucky” with Dr. Wright and Ms. Mitchell on March 30. As Associate Director of the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, Dr. Engle provided space, technical expertise and high-level communications and networking skills and resources. I coordinated with George Wright and moderated the online conversation. ART WORKS, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, also supported the webinar. Lessons Learned Listening is as important as talking George Wright began by saying he has been getting calls from all over the state from communities grappling with the legacy of Confederate statues or sites of lynchings. He knows it can be difficult for communities to have these conversations, and he
believes talking and listening are absolutely needed to move forward. People too seldom sit down and talk to each other about these difficult issues, he observes. If they do talk, they are too often unwilling to hear other perspectives. Wright pointed out that it is important to assume good intentions when talking about race with people who don’t agree with you. Good intentions are needed both to hear and to be heard. Sometimes people think they are “experts” without investing the time to learn what they don’t know, so listening is especially key. Everyone can learn from someone who has a different perspective. Wright, a teacher as well as a scholar, says he learns a lot from his students, for example, because they have many different experiences than he has. It is essential to share differences with good intentions, he stresses, so you can compare and contrast where the honest disagreements are. Is Black History being lost in Kentucky? As a librarian and archivist, Sharyn Mitchell thinks it is important for all people to be aware of Black History. She and Wright both went to the same segregated elementary school, Douglas, in Lexington. She feels the two of them are part of a transitional generation of Black Kentuckians, who came to adulthood between the era of civil rights and the current generation of students who did not experience legal segregation. Mitchell worries that Black History in Kentucky is being lost. After public school integration, she pointed out, many Black teachers lost their jobs because they were not hired to teach in White schools. Since then, White teachers aren’t often taught Black History as part of their training. So few students in public schools today, of any race or ethnicities, are learning about Blacks in Kentucky. Local contexts are important in understanding racial violence Wright believes it is essential to learn from the incidents of racial violence that happened here, especially the lynchings. He maintains that because attachment to place is strong throughout Kentucky, understanding local contexts are necessary to fully understand the violence. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama, which commemorate lynchings nationwide, encourages memorials in the communities where the
murders happened. Wright sees this as an important opportunity to learn about the violent incidents here. Sharyn Mitchell talked about a Kentucky Lynching Museum in Russellville where four Black men were killed in 1908. She also has seen documentation about more than one lynching at the “singing bridge” in Frankfort. Wright observes that bridges, in general, often became sites of public lynchings here and in other states. He proposes viewing these incidents with understanding of the social standards of the historical time, while also maintaining universal standards of basic justice and human rights that transcend time. Kentucky as a border state Wright underscored Kentucky’s history as a border state. The state has been defined as both Border South and Upper South. Although Kentucky stayed loyal to the Union, the state had legalized segregation. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only applied to Confederate states, so slavery did not officially end here till the 13th Amendment passed in 1865. Kentucky did not vote in favor of that amendment and was exempt from many of the Reconstruction laws imposed on the former Confederate states during Reconstruction. Wright believes that for these reasons criminal justice laws and practices may not have changed as much in Kentucky as elsewhere. In 1935, for example, the town of Paducah passed a law that Blacks could not serve on juries. He also cited recent incidents involving police traffic stops in west Louisville, and pointed out the importance of public conversations about race and policing. Mitchell drew connections between Black History and current housing patterns in Kentucky. For example, since abolitionists founded Berea, Black and White home ownership became interspersed in the 1800s. Segregation wasn’t legalized until early 1900s, such as the Day Law, for example, segregating higher education. So while there are housing and economic inequities for Blacks in Berea now, there is still a history of Black home and land ownership. Where do we go from here? Ways communities can learn together
Wright ended by stressing how important it is to continued on the next page
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 5
Voting rights restoration hits close to home for Bobby Duff By Bobby Duff My story of how I became an advocate for the Restoration of Felon Voting Rights started by accident when I went to my first meeting of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth where the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons was an issue on the agenda. A petition was drafted and the organizer of the Perry County chapter, Jacob Mack-Boll, invited me to do some canvassing with him on the issue. We chose my old stomping grounds of the “Walkertown Projects,” a low-income housing development operated by HUD, as a launch point. Even though I've never done any canvassing before it was great fun visiting with old friends and new, and letting them hear about the issue we were advocating for. The response, to my surprise, was universally positive. Everyone we met seemed to have a story of how they or a family member had been impacted by this unfair law. Several were also surprised to learn such a law still existed. The success of this spurred us to hold a Voter Rights Workshop in early April at the Orville Francis Community Center in Hazard. “I'm here because I believe in democracy and believe everyone should have a say in their government. Seems like a pretty basic thing,” said our guest presenter, Dave Newton, to open the event on April 9. We had a small but enthusiastic crowd who were all interested to learn what they could do about the project. Morgan Kirk said her reason for coming was, “I'm here, personally, because I believe it is a basic
human right that we be able to vote. “I work for Wellcare Health Plans. We are one of the Medicare providers and one of the things that we really want to focus on is work with the community in improving health, and that everyone should have a say in that. That goes with voting and making sure the right people are in office.” “Ideally that would make sure those people who we elect Bobby Duff (third from left) with others who participated in the vote in the way that reflect our Voting Rights workshop in Perry County: Ly Madde, Courtney Combs, values. Meaning they vote to Susan Hull, Jason Griffith, Morgan Kirk and Frank Morris. restore the rights of people who have paid their debt to society and are now ready anyone convicted of a felony from voting, to become a contributing member once again,” Kirk Part of that is how the law is codified. It's actuconcluded. ally in the Kentucky constitution and it takes a lot to Such is the story with my own father, James Duff change that. Jr., who lost his rights. He worked in auto body repair To get your rights restored you must be pardoned for over 50 years here in eastern Kentucky and later by the governor. The administration of Matt Bevin, south Florida. It was here though that years ago he not surprisingly, is not in favor of amending the state's was caught selling stolen cigarettes, convicted and constitution to correct this – making Kentucky one of sentenced to prison. only three states that does not automatically restore Along with that prison time went the privilege of voting rights upon completion of a sentence. voting. Coming out of this meeting several of the attend Fortunately for him once he was released his ees expressed an interest in canvassing on the issue to parole officer applied to the state (under the 1976 either collect signatures and or register potential new protocols) and his voting rights were restored. But this voters. Several even stayed around for an impromptu is not always the case. Our state's constitution forbids demonstration on the in and outs of canvassing.
Talking Black history in Kentucky: learning from each other continued from the previous page bring communities together to have difficult and productive conversations about Black History. Often such conversations only occur when there are strong differences, such as over Confederate statues. Having discussions at times like that make it hard to build trust. Here are some suggestions about how communities can learn together: • • • •
Incorporate Black History and culture into community events, like celebrating the history of a town or neighborhood or holidays like the 4th of July. Look for opportunities to celebrate and discuss Black History year-round. Read a book or watch a film together about Black History and convene in a safe public space, like a local library, for an open discussion. Discuss tough issues like the Confederate statues or policing with civility and respect for different points of view. No one has all the right answers.
Participate in public discussions about racial equity in criminal justice to learn and listen not just to talk. Make sure everyone is invited to community discussions, and everyone has a chance to speak.
As Wright concluded: together we can connect the past and the present, look at challenging information to understand the complexity of our history, think about what each of us brings to the discussion and what each of us can learn. You can find a video of the entire conversation at https://appalachiancenter. as.uky.edu/video/talking-about-black-experience-kentucky . Luckily for us, George Wright will be in residence at the University of Kentucky from July 2019-June 2020 to take part in programs and activities marking the 70th anniversary of its integration. We hope to have more conversations about Black History in Kentucky with him then.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
6 | Balancing the Scales
National Popular Vote: the majority of voters should decide By Virginia Meagher For most of us, the night of Nov. 8, 2016 will be seared into our memory forever. Donald Trump had won the presidency. It became clearer in the following days that Hillary Clinton had received three million votes more than Donald Trump. But he had won more votes in the Electoral College and thus he would become our president. This enigma prevailed because 48 out of our 50 states support winner-take-all regarding the votes of the delegates to the Electoral College, which convenes in the December following the November election. Thus, in Kentucky, Donald Trump got 100 percent of our Electoral College votes despite winning only 63 percent of the individual votes. Had our Electoral College votes been divided proportionately, Trump would have gotten five and Clinton would have received three. If every state had done that, Clinton would now likely be our president. As the United States Constitution allows each state to decide how its delegation to the Electoral College will cast its ballots, our General Assembly has passed the winner-take-all policy in Kentucky and has the power to change it at any time. A national movement is spreading for states
to change their formulas so that their delegates to the Electoral College will unanimously vote for the candidate who has won the most popular votes nationally. This movement is called the National Popular Vote. It has been enacted into law in 12 states already, for a total of 172 electoral votes. But it will not take effect until enough states have passed it to equal a majority of the electoral votes, 270. The bill was introduced into the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2009, with 12 cosponsors. It was not passed into law, despite 80 percent of the voters in Kentucky being in favor of it, according to a survey taken in 2008. Although at first glance Republicans seem to benefit from the winner-take-all laws, there are several reasons why Republicans would support a National Popular Vote bill in their states. First, on its face, the current prescription may result in an unfair outcome. We are a democracy. Despite the manipulations of candidates to go after votes in the Electoral College, the popular vote outcome is apparent to everyone after the election. Second, the presidential candidates shower many more benefits on the toss-up states than the rest of the states, in which the outcome seems to be a foregone conclusion. Compare how many times Barack Obama, Mitch Romney, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appeared in Ohio as opposed to Kentucky. They appeared over and over again in Ohio in large urban venues and small town coffee shops from August to November of the presidential election
In 2008, a National Popular Vote bill was introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly by Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo. It was approved by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee but then killed by House leaders. The same happened in the 2009 legislative session, when the bill had 12 cosponsors. It passed committee and then was allowed to die by House leaders. The legislation was introduced in the state legislature again in 2011 and 2012 without receiving any action.
years. The only time I have seen Barack Obama in person was in a football stadium in Cincinnati, never in my home state of Kentucky. These candidate appearances churn up a lot of economic activity, from the quick breakfasts and lunches gobbled down by excited voters to the guy selling newly printed t-shirts on the sidewalk to hotels for overnight stays. So, whether the visiting candidate is a Democrat or Republican, the venue is a winner economically. Kentucky has missed out on all this income around the physical presence of the candidates. In addition, the advertisements placed by the presidential candidates on television and radio and in newspapers bring in tremendous revenue. Again, for the most part, Kentucky misses out on that. There is even a survey that shows that battleground states receive more attention from presidents during their terms in the forms of grants and emergency relief. All of these benefits to a few states will influence the other states to get on board with the National Popular Vote movement. In most states, Republicans are just as eager as Democrats to reform the Electoral College outcomes, for all of the above reasons. In addition, they can never tell when the shoe might be on the other foot and they would win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College vote. Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, wrote an opinion piece on March 1, 2019, urging Republicans to support the National Popular Vote. I want my vote to be just as important in a presidential election as a vote in any other state. I want to be wooed by the candidates in a venue close to home and to bring friends to their events. If the National Popular Vote is passed in enough states, it will be so. Letâ€™s convince our state lawmakers in Kentucky to make this change in our delegation to the Electoral College to avoid future presidents who are inaugurated without winning the national popular vote.
for being a member or supporter of KFTC. You make the work you read about in Balancing the Scales possible â€“ 37 years of it!
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 7
New Energy and transition
Help us create a bright future, Carl Shoupe tells Congress A Congressional subcommittee on April 9 heard testimony on ways to help Appalachian communities recover from more than a century of coal mining as they build a new and more diverse economy. “We can build a bright future,” Carl Shoupe told committee members. Shoupe, a third generation coal miner from Harlan County, described how residents in the small towns of Benham and Lynch planned and built for their future by creating the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, the School House Inn and an underground mine tour. “Our mountains are mostly intact and covered by some of the most diverse hardwood forests in North America. Our communities have developed some excellent tourist attractions,” Shoupe said. “But all of that is now at risk. Destruction is knocking on our door.” Above Shoupe’s home a coal company is clearcutting in anticipation of getting a permit to strip mine the steep valley that supplies the towns’ drinking water and helps attract tourists. “We have to stop the destruction now,” Shoupe testified. “Congress must act now to end strip mining in our Appalachian mountains. Then invest in the important work of restoring and repairing our land, water and people. Help us protect our health, water and forests. He and his neighbors in Benham and Lynch have filed a Lands Unsuitable for Mining petition with state officials to permanently protect their watershed and viewshed. They are waiting for a decision from state officials. “I’ve traveled a long way to this meeting because our communities deserve and need your support. We need Congress to partner with us to shape a Just Transition for our coal workers and communities,” he concluded. Shoupe mentioned the RECLAIM Act, which would accelerate the release of $1 billion for mine reclamation tied to local economic development effort, as one important action Congress could take. As part of additional written testimony, Shoupe submitted into the Congressional Record statements by Jeff and Sharman Chapman-Crane from Letcher County, Nina McCoy from Martin County and a KFTC report about health problems experienced by Rick Handshoe in Floyd County.
The U.S. House Energy and Mineral Resources Committee also heard from Donna Branham, a nurse in Mingo County, West Virginia. She described many health impacts that she and family members have experienced as a result of the dust, well water contamination, blasting damage to homes and other consequences of strip mining. She said when her parents were forced to leave her childhood home because of the hardships caused by nearby mining they did not get fair market value for their house because of damage to it and the surrounding area caused by mining. “The coal companies do not care Harlan County resident Carl Shoupe (left) and Donna Branham (right) that it is home to our people,” Bran- of Mingo County, West Virginia with U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, chair ham said. of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The hearing focused on the immediate and long-term health impacts caused by mountaintop removal mining. Rep. believe that air pollution levels in this region are suffiJohn Yarmuth explained that he introduced the Appa- cient to account for an increased prevalence of disease. lachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act I believe there is also ample evidence in the scientific “to correct the grave injustice happening in so many of literature that the relationship is not simple correlative our nation’s coal communities.” but causal,” McCawley explained. He held up a bottle a reddish-orange liquid that His and other studies show there is significantly came from a family’s water well in Pike County. It was higher levels and exposure to ultra-fine particles in their third well, the other two having been sunk by mountaintop mining areas. These particles are “highly mining. inflammable when living cells are exposed to them.” The third well was highly contaminated, with “ar- “The inflammation that these ultra-fine particles senic levels more than 130 times the level deemed safe can cause are known to be association with virtually all by the EPA,” Yarmuth explained. known chronic diseases,” McCawley further explained. The ACHE Act (H.R. 2050) would place a mora- “Thus the finding of epidemic-scale health effects in torium on permitting for mountaintop removal coal mountaintop removal areas is, unfortunately, unsurmining until health studies conducted by the Depart- prising.” ment of Health and Human Services conclude “that A $1 million study by the National Academies of mountaintop removal coal mining does not present Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that got underany health risk to individuals in the surrounding com- way in 2016 was ended last year by the Trump adminmunities.” istration. That study was initiated after more than 20 Those health impacts are very real and need further scientific papers concluded that people living near strip research, explained Dr. Michael McCawley, a professor mining in Central Appalachia experienced higher levin the Department of Occupational and Environmen- els of birth defects, heart and lung diseases and a lower tal Health Sciences at West Virginia University School life expectancy than in on-mining areas. of Public Health. A recording of the hearing is available at: “My findings clearly show that there is evidence to https://bit.ly/2GdlRjP.
Save the date — Benham$aves celebration — June 21
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
8 | Balancing the Scales
New Energy and transition
RECLAIM Act approved by U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, 26-10 After reintroduction in April, the bipartisan RECLAIM Act was debated and voted on during the May 1 House Natural Resources Committee markup, where the bill was passed out of committee with bipartisan support. The RECLAIM Act would invest $1 billion in projects that clean up abandoned coal mines and waters polluted by them, and would catalyze community development projects on or near reclaimed sites. Support for the bill is rooted in communities struggling with abandoned mines and the decline of coal jobs, including in east Kentucky where people have been calling for the initiative since 2013. The re-introduction of the House bill earlier this month and today’s passage in committee underline the serious momentum the bill has garnered in recent weeks. “Being from a family whose men have worked in the coal industry for generations, this bill is of great importance to me. It’s a way to stimulate the economies of the communities hit hardest by the decline of the coal industry. These communities need help now. RECLAIM will provide it by putting miners back to work reclaiming the land and creating new businesses,” said Sarah Bowling, who grew up in Pike County and is a long-time proponent of RECLAIM. “Supporters in coal-impacted communities and across the country have provided 10,000 petition signatures, thousands of calls, hundreds of postcards, and local governments have passed more than 50 resolutions, all urging Congress to pass this bill,” said Wes Addington, Executive Director of Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. The act, if passed, would provide an immediate economic boost by employing thousands of people
in reclamation jobs across the country. Many people in Central Appalachia possess the earth-moving skills necessary for this type of reclamation work, including laid-off coal miners and others. Fred Jackson, the president of a reclamation contractor based in Clay County, said, “If you’ve got more work going on, then you’ve got to have more workers to do them. If you’ve got 20 million extra dollars coming into the state, the reclamation contractors are here and will be needing extra workers for those cleanup jobs. People here value their homes like everyone else does. Home is home. Abandoned mines are affecting people’s livelihoods like people’s houses or people’s access to the community. It would be a good thing to get more money stirring in this area and do the reclamation that needs to be done.” RECLAIM’s re-introduction earlier this month followed a March 28 House Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee hearing at which ACLC’s Senior Coordinator of Policy and Community Engagement Eric Dixon and two other witnesses testified in support of RECLAIM. After passage in committee, the next step for the legislation is a vote before the full U.S. House of Representatives. The RECLAIM Act could be a first step toward a more diverse, sustainable economy in the mountains, though other issues remain. Congress must ensure coal companies pay their fair share to compensate miners with black lung and clean up the huge abandoned mine problem that will remain even if RECLAIM passes. Congress should pass RECLAIM immediately, and should also extend the black lung tax slashed on January 1, 2019 and reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program.
Action needed to help RECLAIM Act pass U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers is the lead Republican cosponsor of the RECLAIM Act (HR 2156), and Reps. John Yarmuth and Brett Guthrie are cosponsors. However, Kentucky's other three members of the U.S. House have failed to get behind this needed economic revitalization legislation. ACTION: Contact Kentucky’s other three House members (Comer, Massie and Barr) – especially if you live in their district – and ask them to cosponsor HR 2156, the RECLAIM Act. Contact Reps. Rogers, Yarmuth and Guthrie to thank them for their support for the RECLAIM Act.
Contact members of Congress U.S. House Members Rep. James Comer, 1st District (202) 225-3115 – Washington (270) 487-9509 – Madisonville (270) 408-1865 – Paducah (270) 487-9509 – Tompkinsville Online: https://comer.house.gov/ contact Rep. Brett Guthrie, 2nd District (202) 225-3501 – Washington (270) 842-9896 – Bowling Green Online: https://guthrie.house.gov/ contact Rep. John Yarmuth, 3rd District (202) 225-5401 – Washington (502) 933-5863 – Louisville (502) 582-5129 – Louisville Online: https://yarmuth.house.gov/ contact-john2 Rep. Thomas Massie, 4th District (202) 225-3465 – Washington (606) 324-9898 – Ashland (502) 265-9119 – LaGrange (859) 426-0080 – Crescent Springs Online: https://massieforms.house. gov/contact Rep. Hal Rogers, 5th District (202) 225-4601 – Washington (606) 679-8346 – Somerset (606) 886-0844 – Prestonsburg (606) 439-0794 – Hazard Online: https://halrogers.house.gov/ contact-hal Rep. Andy Barr, 6th District (202) 225-4706 – Washington (859) 219-1366 – Lexington Online: https://barr.house.gov/contact Not sure what Congressional district you live in? Find a map here: https://bit.ly/2YGpYvn
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 9
New Energy and Transition
KFTC building movement with Climate Justice alliance By Mikaela Curry At the end of March, several KFTC members and staff traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to represent KFTC at the 2019 Member Convening of the Climate Justice Alliance. CJA is a diverse yet aligned coalition of communities on the frontline of the climate crisis from across the country and world working for a Just Transition. The member convening was a similar to KFTC's annual membership meeting – combining voting on key proposals and plans for CJA's work by CJA member organizations, with valuable moments of collective learning, relationship building and deepening alignment. It was an inspiring movement space, full of love and power, strategic planning along issues and regions, honor to ancestors and babies, and more. For three transformative days, KFTC member Berenice Davila Gonzalez of Madison County and I, with two KFTC staff members, joined and built community with other CJA members and grassroots organizations working for a Just Transition. The others were from Buffalo, New York to Alaska; from Jackson, Mississippi to Black Mesa,
Arizona; from Richmond, California to Portland, Oregon, from Detroit, Michigan to New Orleans, Louisiana. We were joined by other Kentuckians representing the Alliance for Appalachia, the Kentucky Student
Environmental Coalition, Appalachian Voices and the National Family Farm Coalition.
Climate Justice Alliance, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 2019 By Mikaela Curry
Find a space where the leadership does not look like you – and listen hold in your pocket a device for translating messages, and consider language: justice
If someone standing in front of you sings a song and asks you – sing it back to them consider what the sound and beauty of rising voices means: justice Notice a problem, find who profits from it and who suffers – decide something how would you want help if the one suffering was you: justice Every place in this country had another name – at some point if you treat people bad enough for long enough they stand up and say: justice Show up, stand up, stay up – take care of yourself and bring someone else along.
Support for solar growing statewide, despite legislative setback By Andy McDonald
in Kentucky and to me, this is what we were all celebrating. The Solar Celebration at West 6th Farm on SB 100 passed in spite of overwhelming April 28 near Frankpopular opposition fort was a bittersweet to the bill. Despite event. Following the spending hundreds passage of the antiof thousands of dolnet metering bill, lars on lobbying and SB 100, in the 2019 campaign contribuGeneral Assembly, it tions to the Republiseemed a bit strange can Party, it took the to be celebrating. utilities three years SB 100 was to cram their antidefinitely a signifisolar bill through the cant setback for the legislature. solar movement in The support we Kentucky. Howev- Chris Woolery (right) of MACED leads attendees in an in- received from many er, in the past few formal energy efficiency workshop in the West Sixth Farm legislators was anyears there has been taproom. The Solar Celebration was hosted by a recently other hopeful sign. a great surge in sup- formed network of 11 solar advocates around Kentucky, During the House port for solar energy to which KFTC belongs. floor debate, many
representatives spoke out against SB 100 and in support of solar energy and the need to grow a clean energy economy in Kentucky. There were even several legislators who cited the urgency of climate change as a reason to oppose SB 100. So while the utilities still have deep pockets and powerful influence in Frankfort, there is a growing tide of support for solar and a clean energy future. I started working as an advocate for solar energy in Kentucky in 2003 with Appalachia – Science in the Public Interest and the Kentucky Solar Partnership. Back then, it seemed there were just a handful of people scattered around the state who were passionate about solar energy. It was inspiring for me to arrive at the Solar Celebration at West 6th Farm and find that the parking lot was filled and overflowing. One month after suffering a difficult defeat in the legislature, hundreds of people gathered at an out-of-the-way farm to celebrate their continuing enthusiasm for solar energy. This gives me hope.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
10 | Balancing the Scales
New Energy and transition
Unpacking the electricity rate increases for LG&E and KU By Carrie Ray Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) After rate hikes in 2015 and 2017, Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) hit their customers with another rate hike a few weeks ago. While they didn’t get everything they asked for from the Kentucky’s Public Service Commission, they did get sizable increases in their gas and electric rates. Here’s how it breaks down for residential electric consumers:
Those are pretty big rate hikes, especially when the repeated increases over the last five years are considered. Residential and small commercial rates have gone up 17-23 percent, and base rates (the charge regardless of how much energy is used) around 50 percent over the last five years.
energy efficiency or solar, and it locks low-income folks ers are paying big extra charges on their bills to cover into higher bills regardless of how much they cut their those costs. usage. LG&E and KU (both owned by PPL Corpora The bigger picture question to ask is, why are we tion of Allentown, Pennsylvania) made around $400 seeing these repeated rate hikes? million in profits last year – so what incentive do they The business model for our investor-owned mo- have to change? They know they’ll always make money nopoly utilities (which includes Duke Energy and because they can charge us for it. Kentucky Power) is to sell kilowatt-hours, and to at- This LG&E-KU rate increase is just one of many tract investors by building big new power plants. But we’ve seen and will continue to see unless something Kentucky, like most of the United States, is using less changes in the way our monopoly utilities, our legislaelectricity per capita than we used to as technology tors and our Public Service Commission start thinking improves. So not only are the utilities selling less elec- differently about energy in Kentucky. They may need tricity, they don’t need to build any new power plants. our help to do it. This isn’t a problem unique to Kentucky’s utilities. But while utilities in other states are exploring new ways of operating, and adapting to this rapidly shifting energy landscape, our investor-owned utilities are cutting efficiency programs, trying to keep folks from putting up rooftop solar, and making everyone pay more for their power. Why? One reason is because their investors are guaranteed a rate of return on their investments. Think about that – no matter what kind of bad business decisions LG&E and KU make, their In February, when the Public Service Commission was considinvestors are still going to make money at ering LG&E/KU’s proposed rate increase, KFTC members in 9.275 percent. Louisville and Lexington spoke out and showed up to voice their Kentucky Power has to pay to take opposition to the proposed increase. Members in Lexington, down the Big Sandy power plant and for picture above, brought common household items with them – a a bad investment in a coal-burning power prescription, a grocery bag full of Ramen noodles, tampons – to plant in Illinois. But it’s not coming out illustrate the impact that having to pay $13 more each month of their investors’ pockets. Their custom- would have on them. (Photo by Scott Wegenast)
Spring and summer energy efficiency tips While rising rates are a challenge for everyone, the repeated (and significant) rise in base fees is an even bigger problem because it has a disproportionate impact on lower-income folks and discourages investments in energy efficiency or rooftop solar energy. The purpose of the base fee is to cover fixed costs, like poles, wires and other infrastructure, and consumers have to pay it regardless of how much or how little electricity used. So it reduces the incentive to invest in
This spring and summer, many Kentuckians are experiencing electricity rate increases and all of us, no matter who our utility is, will soon be enduring hot days. As we think more about saving energy to reduce our bills (with the added benefit of cleaner air and healthier homes), here are some spring/summer-specific energy efficiency tips. •
Summer sunshine is great for our tomato plants but not so great at keeping our homes cool. When sunshine streams through our windows, it can heat up our home. Try shutting the windows and blinds during the day. As Energy.gov states “Fans cool people, not
rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.” Having a fan on when you’re in a room can feel really cooling and allows you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing comfort. When you leave the room, though, turn off the fan. Keep the heat out of your kitchen. Ovens and stoves are heat-producing appliances. On the hottest of days, try using the microwave, which uses ⅓ the energy of an oven, or cook outside on a grill or camp stove. Consider using LED lighting. Incandescent (tracontinued on next page
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 11
New Energy and Transition
New online resources support Energy Democracy vision KFTC members want what everyone wants: more affordable energy, good jobs that don’t do damage to our land, air or water, a say in the important decisions that affect us, and healthy communities. This is why KFTC works hard to build an Energy Democracy in Kentucky – the simple idea that communities, not companies should control and benefit from our energy resources and systems. KFTC members take action in a lot of ways to support this vision for Kentucky’s Energy Democracy. Now you can get connected to all of KFTC’s Energy Democracy work in one place. Find links and information to: • energy efficiency programs like How$martKY • community-led programs like Benham$aves • recent campaigns against utility rate increases • our fights to protect rooftop solar
Head to kftc.org/campaigns/energy-democracy to check it out.
• details about the Power House energy efficiency workshops • what to do if you want to host a workshop!
There’s also a new webpage for the Power House Project, which is a series of energy efficiency workshops hosted by KFTC members across the state. Since 2018, these workshops have sought to provide accessible information, tools and strategies that Kentuckians can use to lower their energy bills, learn more about benefiting from utility programs and solar energy, and feel empowered to organize for better results from our elected officials and utilities. See it all at kftc.org/campaigns/energy-democracy/power-house-workshops and get connected to:
To support the work for an Energy Democracy, a toolbox is available that empowers strategy and action through data, analysis and visualization, called Power Maps. With a new web page, Kentuckians can explore the data being collected and utilized. Projects include:
• KFTC’s long and rich legacy of rural cooperative organizing • the Empower Kentucky Plan • utility contact information
Spring and summer energy efficiency tips … continued from previous page ditional) bulbs turn 90% of the energy they use into heat, according to SmartEnergy.com. LED bulbs are a great cost-saving alternative because they operate at a lower wattage (using 75% less energy), produce half as much heat, and last 50x longer than traditional bulbs. Be sure to start off by replacing the most commonly-used light fixtures in your home with LEDs. The Trick to Thermostats How do we adjust our thermostats in a way that saves us energy and money? SmartEnergy.com states that “for every degree you raise your thermostat above 72 degrees, you save up to 3% of your cooling expenses.” In the summer, try setting the thermostat as high as your comfort allows. When you leave your home throughout the day, try turning the thermostat up (increasing the temperature your house can get before the air conditioning kicks on) and then lower the thermostat to a more comfortable level if you need when you’re back home.
Clarification on thermostat auxiliary settings A February 2019 article stated that “setting the temperature too low (on your thermostat) may actually trigger the auxiliary or emergency heat setting that burns more energy.” While it’s true that the auxiliary setting is inefficient and costly, there’s more to the story. Only folks with electric heat pumps (instead of a fuel-based furnace) encounter an auxiliary setting. In the winter, heat pumps efficiently pull warm air from the outside and bring it inside. When the temperature outside drops significantly, the heat pump loses capacity and forces use of its more expensive auxiliary system, which is inefficient, uses about 3 as much power, which costs more money. Similarly in the summer when we turn on the air conditioning, the heat pump reverses action and pulls warm air out of our home. If you do have an electric heat pump, you can save money in the winter by adjusting your thermostat at a slower rate. Don’t turn your thermostat up more than 3 degrees at a time in winter. Rapidly raising the ther-
• County Power Profiles – 4-page handouts created for each Power House Workshop that compare electric utility rates, average monthly bills, and more • Electricity Energy Burden Analysis – visualizing how large a bite electricity bills take, on average, from household incomes across the state • Kentucky Electric Utilities Web Map – tool to explore the ways energy rates and charges, average monthly bills, and energy efficiency programs vary across utilities in Kentucky Dive into data at kftc.org/campaigns/energydemocracy/power-maps.
“No matter what kind of heating or cooling system you have, lowering the temperature setting in your house in the winter saves money and energy. You pick the temperature you are comfortable with, whether it be 68 or 60 degrees, every degree saves some money. And conversely in the summer with your (air conditioning), every degree raised saves time and money whether it be 74 or 78 degrees.” — Greg Zahradnik, a Jefferson County member and engineer who testified against the LG&E smart meter proposal before the PSC.
mostat temperature many degrees above the outside air causes the heat pump to use the auxiliary system. In the summer, there is no risk for the auxiliary system to kick on because it doesn’t work like that. Rapidly decreasing the thermostat to a comfortable temperature will use the same amount of power as if you incrementally decreased it over time. In the summer, you can save money by adjusting your thermostat incrementally and gauge how comfortable it is and whether there’s an option like a fan to help you cool down without decreasing the temperature further.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
12 | Balancing the Scales
Kentuckians ready for a Just Transition and Green New Deal
Photo by David Gardner
An enthusiastic and diverse crowd turned out on munity, and that’s why I’m here. It’s beMay 11 at an event in Frankfort in support of a Just cause I care about my community that I Transition to a clean energy economy and a Green support the Green New Deal. New Deal for workers and communities. “The powers that be profit from the The main event, a stop on a eight-city tour or- status quo, so of course they’ll spread ganized by the Sunrise Movement, was planned in misinformation and try to put a stop partnership with KFTC and Service Employees Inter- to the momentum we are building. national Union (SEIU) 32BJ. The event featured State Change frightens them because it lifts Rep. Attica Scott, KFTC members Kevin Short, Cas- up those they keep under their thumb. sia Herron and Scott Shoupe, Sunrise Louisville Hub They have a lot of wealth and power member Jenny Bencomo Suarez, Sunrise Executive that they can and will wield against us, Director Varshini Prakash, Erin Bridges, who plays a but perseverance is our middle name. leading role in the Sunrise Louisville Hub and on the We will persist, and in the face of the national Sunrise Steering Committee; and music by giant corporations and the politicians Appalatin. funded by them, we will make the Anne Harrison of New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future shared the highlights of her table’s conversation at the A Seat at the Before things got rolling, KFTC, SEIU 32BJ and change we must make.” Sunrise hosted a Seat At The Table dinner for nearly State Rep. Attica Scott described Table dinner. 300 participants. The dinner was also cosponsored by people in her family and district whose many allies, including REACT (Rubbertown Environ- bodies have been sickened and lives diminished by of poverty, job losses, racism, discrimination, minorimental ACTion) and Kentucky Student Environmen- toxic air pollution. “My neighbors are dying because of ties, more) are at the table and have a voice in shaping tal Coalition, among others. pollution and the weakness of politicians,” Rep. Scott solutions… During facilitated table conversations participants said. “We can no longer carry the burden of Louis- “A New Green Deal could mean that I, Scott shared personal stories of how climate impacts their ville's toxic air.” Shoupe, and a few others who completed the MACED lives and about what is needed to build a movement She gave a shout out to community leaders like energy internship could be the example, or the light in Kentucky to change course toward a sustainable and Eboni Cochrane, a key leader in a Louisville-based en- at the end of the tunnel, for displaced workers from equitable future. The conversations focused on being vironmental justice organization called REACT, who industries that face structural change. more inclusive of all voices, especially those most im- organized over many years to win stronger air quality “It could mean more programs and policies in pacted, showing the common ground among rural and rules. And she lifted up the importance of labor unions place to retrain workers. It means your hard work, urban issues, the illustrating the direct impacts climate like SEIU 32BJ that fight for high quality jobs, worker dedication and loyalty to your industry were not in change is having in Kentucky. safety and the right to organize as part of a Just Transi- vain. It means everybody has voice, a seat at the table. “It doesn't have to do with Democrats or Repub- tion. “It means a Just Transition to a clean economy for licans," Jean Perkins pointed out at her table. “It has to Scott Shoupe, a fourth generation former coal Kentucky,” Shoupe continued. It means the possibildo with life.” miner from Harlan County, brought ity of a higher minimum wage, affordable health care Kevin Short, a high school senior the room to its feet as he shared his for all, increasing investments in energy efficiency and from Lily, Kentucky, kicked off the journey from working for 22 years in renewables and more job-training opportunities.” evening program by sharing his powerunderground coal mines to opening Jenny Bencomo Suarez described her support for ful and deeply personal story. his own business last month providing a Green New Deal, saying, “For decades, working class “I’m talking to you tonight as clean energy services in eastern Ken- communities and communities of color like mine have an Appalachian, born and raised in tucky. been first to be hit by pollution, and last to be rebuilt eastern Kentucky, whose papaw was a “What does a Just Transition mean after a climate disaster. The Green New Deal will tackle coal miner and whose mamaw owned to me? A Just Transition is about a all these challenges head-on: stopping toxic pollution a small business. I’m invested in my good process and good outcomes. It contributing to climate disasters. Everyone has a right community, I have roots in my commeans people closest to the pain (pain to clean air and water, protection from disaster and Kevin Short healthy food, no matter the color of their skin or where they were born. The Green New Deal is revolutionary Front cover: Richard Becker of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Erin policy rooted in equity, justice and above all compasBridges of the Sunrise Movement and Cassia Herron, KFTC vice-chairperson, share the sion.” facilitation at A Seat at the Table, a dinner with facilitated table conversations held prior Varshini Prakash and Erin Bridges of Sunrise to a Green New Deal Rally. More than 300 people took part in the dinner, with many wrapped up the evening by describing what comes others coming for the rally, held May 11 in Frankfort. continued on next page
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 13
Building Grassroots Power
Honoring indigenous rights a welcome part of Green New Deal By Tiffany Pyette When I was invited to attend the April 30 Big Sandy chapter event about the Green New Deal, I admittedly knew very little about it beyond a brief overview. The fact that I hadn't heard much added to the interest I already have in regards to environmental activism; If there was a plan being proposed, I wanted to hear the details. Coming from an indigenous background, protection of land and water is something integral to me and to my heart. Land is not just what I live on, it's part of us. I know many Kentuckians feel the same when they look over these mountains. I hadn't expected the information I took from the event to hit as close to home as it did. I found myself sharing openly and, surprisingly to me, having my input welcomed. It was the first time I'd connected with people who felt similarly in years. When we separated into groups to read and summarize portions of The Green New Deal, I felt like the page in front of me was what I needed to see. It focused on “stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression” of several different frontline
communities (indigenous, communities of color, rural, for industry and there is so much to be fixed, but somedisabled, etc.). In conversations about environmental- thing an elder once told me was to “heal for the sake of ism, these are all communities that are often left out of healing” and I believe she meant it in both a personal the discussion, so I found this refreshing. There was an sense and in a call to action. I want to see us healing acknowledgment of past harm implied with the com- our land, not to prepare it for use, but simply for the sake of healing. mitment to do better. I believe we can; all of us. To quote Chief Joseph, “The earth is the mother The Green New Deal might be the excuse to reof all people, and all people should have equal rights pair some of what is already harmed, and in turn stop harming ourselves. upon it.” It would have been nice on it’s own to know that this commitment to stopping climate change was not going to be at the expense of others, but it got better. At the bottom of my page, I saw what I had never seen before. It was a commitment to honor indigenous treaties, sovereignty, and land rights. The words weren't new but the source and the intent was. “Honor the treaties” is a chant I've used in my head so often that I was shocked to see it on paper. I'm not naive enough to believe any of it will be accomplished without transparency, accountability, and effort, but I took away from the event that maybe it was okay to hope for. Long-time KFTC members as well as several new folks came There are too many examples of to the Big Sandy chapter’s community conversation about the frontline communities picking up the tab Green New Deal.
Kentuckians ready for a Just Transition and Green New Deal … continued from the previous page next. “Scientists tell us we don’t have a lot of time, so we’ve got to act fast.” Bridges said. “Every level of our government is now captured by people who have sold us out to fossil fuel billionaires and are attempting to erode the foundations of our democracy. The next two years are critical and we’ll be laser focused on two
things: exposing the urgency of the crisis and relentlessly demanding the solutions we need. “We already hard at work building powerful local hubs and working with KFTC to register, inform and motivate Kentuckians to vote for our lives in 2019 and 2020 elections. But if we are going to win, and elect real leaders from our communities who are ready to shake down the halls of power, it is going to take all of us.” Varshini Prakash concluded, “The next few years might be our last chance to elect a government in this country capable of protecting human civilization as we know it. We’re facing an opposition that will stop at nothing to squeeze every last bit of money out of the earth. “But there’s too much at stake to not give it our best shot. There are too many people and places we love. Too many cultures and communities that may
drown or burn. Too many damn lives on the line to not give it all we’ve got. I’m not sure if we can succeed, but I think with this plan there’s a chance that we just might. Who’s ready to try to write the next chapter of American history together?”
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
14 | Balancing the Scales
Building Grassroots Power
Residents claim ownership of public spaces in Berea By Grace McKenzie How do we engage people outside of KFTC in conversation about what they care about in their community? That was not the question we set out to answer when we started a project about public spaces in Berea. We were thinking about how people used our public spaces. We wanted to explore what were barriers to people using public spaces and what people wanted to see in their community. It turns out people were really interested in talking about the parks, the library, the trails and their neighborhoods. We were able to engage people who had never heard about KFTC and some who likely wouldn’t support our platform in an informative conversation that is helping to guide work here in Berea. We started looking into the issue, considering what the literature had to say about public spaces. The Project for Public Spaces was a great asset to this exploration. We determined that we would utilize a combination of a survey with canvassing and neighborhood conversations, and end by presenting to city council. And with an idea of what we wanted to accomplish and how, we started talking to everyone who would
listen: the mayor, friends, city council people, pastors. We would explain the project and get their input and ideas and names of more people to contact. It was through this method that we found a local expert in playgrounds and decided to include a public forum after the neighborhood conversations. Then we developed and launched a survey to ask about which places people use, the challenges they have to using them and the ideas they have for making spaces better. We kept it open for a month, reposting it at least once a week, and we took to the streets and canvassed low-income and higher minority areas in Berea. We put the word out that we also were trying to have neighborhood conversations about this, and we were able to get three neighborhood hosts to organize small gatherings of 5-10 people for a conversation. We provided the facilitation and food, and they provided the location and people. During canvassing and neighborhood conversations, people had things to say: “We have a city park? Where is it? Oh, I thought that was the school park.” “I love the library – it became like a second home to me when my kids were little.”
“There are areas in my neighborhood that aren’t safe. We have to take care of that.” “We don’t have good sidewalks here, see? I just want to walk with my mom, who is disabled.” During the neighborhood conversations, folks shared about what their neighborhood was like and what they would like to see. Concerns about walkability and safety arose at all three conversations. Plans were made to have BBQs and to clean up certain areas. The public forum brought more than 20 people together to explore the results of the survey, hear from representatives from the neighborhood conversations, to hear about awesome work happening around public spaces in Berea and to continue to dream. Great connections were made, and the overarching theme of the conversation was that more community-wide support was needed to make lasting change. After three months of work, we presented results of the project to the city council, with final recommendations as follows: •
Create a comprehensive “public space agenda” that considers Berea’s assets, Berea’s needs and incorporates local neighborhood development as well as the more robust city park system. Improve signage for the park system. Partner with tourism officials to create a comprehensive map that is easily readable and shows all public spaces that people can enjoy; provide it to new residents as well as tourists (could also create an app for this). Remember that investment in great public spaces pays dividends in economic, health and community outcomes!
These recommendations seemed to be well received, and we hope to continue to explore this topic within our KFTC chapter because it helped us engage non-members in non-intrusive ways on issues that impact the public good.
Grace McKenzie facilitated the community conversation in Berea that reviewed results of a community survey and developed recommendations to present to the city council.
If you are interested in this topic, I highly recommend reading “Palaces for the People“ by Eric Klinenberg, or listening to the episode of the podcast 99% Invisible by the same name (https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/palaces-for-the-people). — Grace
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 15
Building Grassroots Power
Community forum gives Bowling Green residents a common focus By Caroline Eggers Bowling Green Daily News Reprinted with permission There was anger, there were tears and there was hope. Bowling Green residents met Thursday at Mount Zion Baptist Church to discuss problems and solutions – primarily focusing on the community’s homelessness, transportation struggles and the lack of affordable housing and tenant rights. The forum followed last week’s Poor People’s Campaign event and was co-organized by local members of the Poor People’s Campaign and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. There were panelists and a moderator, but every person in the room took advantage of an equal opportunity to speak. Several people described frustrations with currently being homeless and struggling to find aid, while a few others shared stories of formerly being homeless and successfully turning corners. Ellie Brashear, a Western Kentucky University student, described how she lived in and out of homelessness for nearly a decade without realizing she was homeless, since she was couch surfing or sleeping in her
car. “I thought it was what college Seventy five people gathered at Mt. Zion Baptist Church for We students did,” she said. It began shortly after she started Are Bowling Green, a community forum to talk through solutions to at WKU as a freshman in 2009. She issues of poverty. The forum built on the visit a week before from secured housing two years ago, turned the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival. around and helped WKU partner with Folks shared stories and spoke out about our needs for affordable the Housing and Homeless Coalition housing, public transportation, ending gentrification and more. of Kentucky to initiate a pilot program Across the two events, more than 500 people united in power. of homeless services for students. Teresa Christmas, owner of Art Matters in down- citement about the forum. town Bowling Green and a member of the Poor Peo- “We are in a moment,” Beasley-Brown said. “I ple’s Campaign, suggested that the city-county plan- have never seen this before in Bowling Green. I believe ning and zoning board needs more diverse members to there’s power in what we’re doing.” Megan Huston, senior minister at First Christian help solve homeless and affordable housing issues. “We need to get rid of corruption in our city,” Church, noted that the community wouldn’t solve any issues at the forum, but if residents continue coming Christmas said. Andrea Denise Bolden, a businesswoman who’s together, they could tap into their collective power. involved in Feeding America and the Warren County “If we want change, we have to organize, organize, NAACP, discussed the need to check personal biases organize,” Huston said. and instead be guided by genuine love and respect for To conclude the event, the group held hands in a big circle and sang, “Somebody’s been hurting my other people. Bowling Green City Commissioner Dana Beasley- people, and we won’t be silent anymore.” Brown discussed the importance of fighting for issues Afterwards, people hugged, exchanged phone until they’re deemed unacceptable and expressed ex- numbers and vowed to continue what they started.
The Bowling Green City Commission voted down a local Fairness Ordinance on May 7. This was a historic moment, as the ordinance had not been voted on or heard by the commission before it's first reading on April 23. After years of countless Fairness supporters shar-
ing their stories at commission meetings, this defeating moment added fuel to the fire and builds more power in this movement. Eighty-nine people spoke at the commission meeting and more than 50 were in support of the ordinance. More than 100 businesses in Bowling Green support the ordinance.
Fairness backers believe it is clear that the majority of people in Bowling Green want equity for LGBTQ folks and will not stop until it is achieved. Next steps include voting out the commissioners and mayor who voted against the public interest. Commissioners Dana Beasley Brown and Slim Nash voted for the ordinance.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
16 | Balancing the Scales
Building Grassroots Power
Louisville members challenge budget decisions by the mayor By Connor Allen, Judi Jennings, Anastasia Kaufmann, K.A. Owens and Steven Schweinhart Economic Justice Workteam Jefferson County KFTC Chapter
The people are tired of business as usual at city hall. The people know about the lopsided sweetheart deals known as public-private partnerships. For example:
No matter your zip code, we all want whole, thriving communities. Governor Bevin’s recent changes to Kentucky’s pension system have created budget shortfalls in communities across the commonwealth, including here Louisville. In February, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a $65 million dollar hole in Louisville’s budget with $35 million due this year. Both the mayor and Budget Committee Chair Bill Hollander acknowledged that there are non-pension related items totaling $15 million in the $35 million budget hole estimate. Mayor Fischer then proposed a tax increase that was rejected by the Metro Council. The people have spoken. We understand the pain of financial distress that ordinary people are feeling that resulted in the rejection of any additional taxes. The city's budget cannot and should not be balanced on the backs of poor or working-class people.
• • •
the deal given to the University of Louisville Athletic Association in regards to YUM Center; the $139 million dollars given to the Omni Hotel; the deal that allows the city to temporarily own the property known as Churchill Downs, so that Churchill Downs can avoid paying the equivalent of property taxes at the normal amount sweetheart deals given to apartment complex developers who promise to deliver affordable rental units, don’t deliver, but yet are allowed to keep unearned benefits.
The people look at these sweetheart deals and know there is bound to be $65 million dollars in there somewhere to meet the new pension requirements. The actual year-to-year pension increase, $10 million, would amount to about 1.6 percent of the city’s tax revenue, according to WDRB-TV’s projections.
Learn more about the issues KFTC members are raising in Louisville
Change the rules, end the traffic stops and invest in poor communities by Cassia Herron, KFTC vice-chair https://bit.ly/2HuId0Y
(The Courier-Journal, April 11)
Madison members celebrate anniversary Members in Madison County created one of KFTC’s first chapters in 1983, playing key roles in the organization’s early development. For a few years the chapter was inactive. It was revived 15 years ago and quickly grew to several hundred members.
The chapter celebrated the past 15 years at its regular monthly meeting on April 22.
Jefferson County chapter Economic Justice Workteam members Connor Allen, Steven Schweinhart, Anastasia Kaufmann and K.A. Owens.
So, then why the harsh and punitive tactics coming out of the mayor’s office? On April 5, the mayor’s press office announced the canceling Louisville Metro Police Department recruit classes, changes to city employee health insurance benefits, elimination of cost-of-living increases, and closing the city’s outdoor swimming pools. The people are going to get tired of these public relations stunts. It makes one think that the Metro Council and by extension the people are being punished for not doing what they were told. It makes one think the insurance tax increase was designed to maintain business as usual at city hall. Business as usual means making sure there is enough money in the till for glossy public private partnerships that benefit very few people. We don’t believe that the Metro Council deserves to be punished because they have chosen to examine a situation and move in a different direction. We do not accept business as usual. We call on the city to take bold action to address this budget challenge by following the principles of compassion and equity. The Jefferson County KFTC Chapter suggests that every sweetheart deal, known as public private partnerships, be reevaluated and, if necessary, renegotiated. We believe cuts or privatization of city functions should not be discussed until existing and proposed public private partnerships are examined. If there are cuts deemed necessary after these deals are re-examined, the cuts should be done thoughtfully and with full public input, not as part of a scare campaign. The people demand that the time of business as usual at city hall come to an end.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 17
Retirement board could end pension mess, fails to do so By John Wade As a retired public educator, I have had a frontrow seat to the mess surrounding Kentucky’s public pension funding crisis and the crippling budget cuts it's causing across our commonwealth. • •
Why has Eastern Kentucky University, from where I retired, eliminated 200 positions and fired many of my old colleagues? Why is there a $35 million budget shortfall in Louisville, resulting in proposed cuts that will affect many poor and working class people (see article on previous page). Why did Knott County vote for a partial government shutdown, including the elimination of a program that delivers food to seniors? Why are 42 health departments in Kentucky in danger of shutting their doors before the end of the year?
The answer to these questions can be found in a single vote set up by Gov. Bevin and taken by the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board in 2017. On May 18, 2017, the KRS Board – newly stacked with Gov. Bevin’s own people – adopted more conservative assumptions about investment returns for Kentucky public pensions and payroll growth for public agencies, despite concerns from several board members that this was a dangerous and unnecessary move. Bevin's appointees knew this change would cause chaos in our communities but they voted for it anyway! This politically-driven change, intended to lower public employee pension benefits, caused the required pension payments for agencies and institutions offering vital public services to skyrocket, putting the people they serve across Kentucky at risk. On May 16 this year, the KRS board had the opportunity to correct their miscalculation at their scheduled Board of Trustees meeting and bring immediate relief to our communities – without damaging the financial health of the pension fund – by voting to review their numbers and adopting more reasonable assumptions. Hundreds of members sent emails and
made calls urging them to do this and some members even showed up to give public comment. Even with the data to back us up, the urging of community members, and multiple organizations asking board members to re-examine their actions (including Kentucky Governmental Retirees, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and even the conservative Bluegrass Institute), they chose to take no action. Because of their refusal to change course, there is a good chance that several health departments (in the middle of a Hepatitis A outbreak), rape crisis centers, and domestic violence shelters across Kentucky will go bankrupt before the end of the year. I'm here today to tell you that Gov. Bevin and the Kentucky Retirement System Board of Trustees have the power to end this mess. Even as I write this, there is speculation that a special session will be called by
the governor for the week after the Primary Election to address the crushing budget shortfalls faced by universities, domestic violence shelters, and other “quasigovernmental agencies” in Kentucky. All signs point to the governor and some legislators using this special session to try to illegally take benefits away from public workers instead of finding a dedicated stream of revenue for our public pension debt – debt created by legislators refusing to make the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes in the first place. It’s clear to me that the only solution is for Kentuckians to rise up and elect a new governor this year, so that governor can appoint new KRS Board of Trustees members and end Bevin’s Pension Mess. John Wade is a retired Professor of Economics from Eastern Kentucky University and a KFTC member from Madison County.
Pension Proposal Steers Quasi-Governmental Organizations Toward Breaking Promise to Current Employees By Jason Bailey Kentucky Center for Economic Policy A new pension proposal from the governor’s office pushes quasi-governmental organizations to leave the retirement system in ways that are still very expensive to them, and even less affordable if they would like to keep their current employees who are protected by the inviolable contract in the system. The proposal is expected to add costs of over $800 million to the underfunded retirement system without identifying any way to pay them. Proposed payment plans will make it very costly for many quasis down the road As in prior versions of the bill, the proposal gives quasi-governmental organizations that want to leave the retirement system the option of paying their liabilities as a lump sum or through a payment plan. The payment plan option starts with an initial payment amount equal to the current quasi contribution rate of 49% of employees’ pay and then increases the payment by 1.5% a year each year thereafter. According to the actuary, 52% of quasi agencies would not be able to pay off their liabilities in 30 years under those terms, including 80% of health departments. The bill gives those agencies with bigger liabilities relief only if they immediately freeze the pension benefits of their Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees protected by the inviolable contract. Under the bill, those that do so can stop making payments after 30 years with language stating “it is the intent of the General Assembly to pay the additional funding needed by appropriation in the biennial executive branch budget.” While agencies taking this installment option will have smaller payments initially, they will pay progressively more in the future since their cost increases by 1.5% a year. In contrast, the employer contribution they would pay by staying in the pension system is expected to decrease in the future. Read KCEP’s complete analysis of the governor’s latest pension proposal at: https://bit.ly/2EgB3vh
18 | Balancing the Scales
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
2019 General Assembly
Lingering reflections and reports on the legislative session In response to significant pushback from Kentuckians across the state, including comments made during a public comment period, the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet has revised proposed regulations that severely limited public access to the capitol. New and previously unannounced restrictions greeted the public on the first day of the legislative session in January. The public, including KFTC members, were blocked from using the tunnel that connects the capitol and the capitol annex, blocked from accessing the third floor of the capitol even then they had a legitimate reason for being there, and also were harassed when two What can we do to change the game? or more people stood to talk to each. Cassia Herron: We have to continue leadership development A “rally” (for which one is required to have a permit) was defined as four or and get our folks elected to office. The only way to change the game is to change more people. the people who change the rules. The problem was worsened by inconsistent enforcement and confusion among security officers. What surprised you most about the session? After a public outcry that was joined by some legislators, and testimony Cassia Herron: I was surprised at how vigilant the teachers were who continued against the restrictions at a February 22 public hearing, some of the restrictions to call out of work in order to watchdog and engage in the process related to have been eased. Even before the hearing, the tunnel was reopened to the public changes to their pension and future quality of life. We need to all be more earnest in February. And the reissued regulations revised to 12 the definition of a rally. about our civic responsibility and what the teachers did this session was to nor There also are now some safeguards in place to protect organizations and malize engagement in the state legislative process. Kudos and thank you, teachers! individuals from having their events canceled with no notice. The effort to limit public access to the capitol came after months of public Are there any lessons to be learned from the session? protests and direct actions in 2017 and 2018 by the Kentucky Poor People’s Cassia Herron: I think we need to assess how, when and why we choose comproCampaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Kentucky teachers and public mise for political expediency over going for exactly what workers, and labor union. we want. Whether it’s our work on solar, voter restora After the release of the Cabinet’s Statement of Contion or treating workers with dignity, we continue to exsideration, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center learned perience losses even when we dumbed down our desires. that the original proposed changes were inspired by Similar to how we are beginning to use a race-class narWisconsin’s 2011 effort to limit public access to their rative, we need to learn to be comfortable in standing by capitol and regulate a public space. exactly what we want and let the chips fall where they lay. Northern Kentucky KFTC member Jeff Hampton spoke against the restrictions (no one spoke in favor Any story you would like to share about the session? of them) at the February public hearing. “When they Cassia Herron: Members of the Jefferson County chapwere voting on Right to Work, thousands of people ter met with newly elected legislators, Charles Booker and showed up opposed and it scared the hell out of them,” Josie Raymond to discuss our energy platform. In sharing KFTC members held a ribbon cutting on Feb- Hampton said. “This has nothing to do with safety and about her experience, Rep. Raymond reflected, “I had no ruary 5 to mark the re-opening of the tunnel security. This has to do with keeping people out.” idea I’d be spending my time literally moving commas.” between the capitol and capitol annex. The The proposed policy “re-enforces the idea that Her comment spoke to both the detail to which laws are tunnel had been closed to the public by the average people should not be involved in the legislative written and the point that she was unhappy that she was Bevin administration during the first week of process,” commented George Eklund of the ACLU of the General Assembly in January. not doing the work she thinks matters most. Kentucky. Did KFTC make a difference during the session? How? Cassia Herron: Yes, we always make a difference, ensuring that everyday Kentuckians are able to share with their elected official. This session, in collaboration with the Poor People’s Campaign, members were able to regain access to the capitol and a meeting with Governor Bevin to discuss several issues that disproportionately affect people of color and the poor.
The 2019 General Assembly passed a problematic bill affecting the retirement program for “quasi-governmental” agencies, such as state universities, county health departments and a number of other agencies that provide critical services to Kentuckians. To the surprise of many, Gov. Bevin vetoed that legislation. In late April, Bevin announced he would call a special legislative session, possibly within a few days, to consider his new proposal for quasi agencies. However, after review the governor’s plan failed to gain
support among enough legislators to secure its passage. As this issue of Balancing the Scales goes to press (May 21), no special session has been called. There is speculation that Bevin may call legislators to Frankfort after Memorial Day, but that is not confirmed. The quasi agencies face a large increase in pension contributions on July 1 unless they get relief from the General Assembly. See page 17 to learn more about how the governor created a pension “crisis” and an analysis of his latest proposal.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 19
Maintaining high standards needed to protect, clean up state’s water resources ORSANCO hearing coming up June 6 Members of KFTC and several ally groups are preparing for a big turnout at the June 6 meeting of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). Commissioners are expected to vote on a proposal that would weaken the agency’s decades-old role in monitoring and enforcing water quality standards for the Ohio River and its tributaries. Some commissioners – who are political appointees representing the states involved in ORSANCO – want to make enforcement of the standards voluntary. That means, in states like Kentucky where administration officials have little interest in strong environmental protections, water quality standards could be significantly weakened. At least 100 pollutants for which there are no federal or state standards are included in ORSANCO’s standards. Fifty-two of Kentucky’s water quality standards are weaker than ORSANCO’s. While these standards have not solved the Ohio River’s pollution issues, their enforcement has resulted in considerable progress toward improving water quality in the river and its tributaries. In recent weeks, KFTC members worked to win the support the city commissions of the northern Ken-
tucky cities of Dayton and Covington, as well as from the Covington Human Rights Commission. ORSANCO was established in 1948 as a compact between eight states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois) and the federal government to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River basin. Controversy around ORSANCO’s role has been an issue for more than a year. In 2018, some commissioners floated an industry-backed plan to do away with the agency’s role in enforcing mandatory standards. Strong public opposition caused them to back away from that proposal and instead offer the current one to make enforcement optional. The June 6 commission meeting will take place beginning at 9 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel Riverfront, 668 West 5th Street in Covington. ‡‡‡‡‡‡
ley ReSource and WFPL News have been involved in making public some of the self-monitoring reports utilities are required to file, supplementing this information with additional investigation. Kentucky has a serious problem from coal ash contamination. Some of the findings Ohio Valley ReSource and WFPL News reported last year include: •
At the Mill Creek Generating Station in Louisville, operated by Louisville Gas & Electric, the WFPL News analysis found monitoring wells that contained up to 40 times more arsenic than federal drinking water standards.
At the Paradise Fossil Plant, located on the Green River in Muhlenberg County, testing found levels of arsenic more than eight times higher than federal drinking water standards.
At Kentucky Utilities’ Ghent Generating Station north of Carrollton, radium levels at a groundwater well near the ash pond were 33 times the drinking water standard. In a well near the ash landfill, the radium levels were 10 times the standard. Tests done at Ghent also revealed elevated levels of arsenic, antimony and beryllium, among other contaminants.
Pollution at high levels around coal ash dumps There is significant pollution of land and water in Kentucky from coal ash that has been dumped for decades at coal-burning power plants throughout the state. The Environmental Integrity Project, Ohio Val-
Some veteran KFTC members attended a recent Land Reform Committee meeting: Mary Love, Jeff Chapman Crane, Joanne Hill, Teri Blanton, Russell Oliver and Carl Shoupe. Together they represent more than 120 years of KFTC membership and many more years of service to their communities.
The Ohio Valley ReSource has an interactive map where one can view the power plants located in Kentucky and the contaminants found at their sites. These contaminants include Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cobalt, Fluoride, Lead, Lithium, Molybdenum, Radium and Selenium. The map can be found at: https://ohiovalleyresource.org/2018/06/15/coal-ashmonitoring.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
20 | Balancing the Scales
KFTC Annual Membership Meeting
Annual chapter meetings an important part of KFTC’s democratic process In preparation for the annual membership meeting, all KFTC chapters hold an annual chapter meeting in late May or June (see list to the right). Also called their annual business meeting, the event gives chapter members the chance to: • • • •
Elect chapter leadership. Make suggestions for KFTC’s issue platform. Nominate members to serve on KFTC’s statewide committees. Decide whether to remain a KFTC chapter.
Chapter leadership positions: All chapters are expected to select a representative and an alternate to the KFTC Steering Committee, a chapter fundraising coordinator, membership coordinator and communications coordinator. These last three positions can be shared by a team of members. Some chapters will have additional leadership positions, reflecting chapter committees or work teams, division of responsibilities and other positions agreed to by local members. KFTC’s Platform (kftc.org/about-us/our-platform): This document is a statement of KFTC’s position on issues that guides the Steering Committee and local chapter decisions on allocating resources and staff time. Each year the document is reviewed at chapter meetings and recommenda-
tions can be made for clarifying, adding or revising the document. At its July meeting, the Steering Committee reviews all the suggestions and drafts an updated platform based on these recommendations. This draft platform will be printed in the July issue of Balancing the Scales and online for further member review. At the annual meeting, the members discuss, further amend if they choose to, and adopt the platform. Nominate statewide committee members: KFTC governance committees are: Finance, Personnel and Leadership Development. KFTC issue committees are: Racial Justice, Land Reform, Economic Justice, Voting Rights, Litigation and New Energy & Transition. Any member may nominate themselves or others to serve on one or more of these committees. The nominations go to the Leadership Development Committee, which recommends committee memberships for adoption by the Steering Committee in September. The chapter annual meetings are an important part of KFTC’s democratic process. All chapter members are encouraged to participate in these meetings.
In preparation for KFTC’s statewide annual meeting (which includes the annual business meeting on Sunday morning), members are asked to participate in a number of ways. •
Participate in a chapter annual meeting (see schedule at right). All chapters hold their annual meetings in late May or June, prior to the statewide annual meeting. At these meetings, chapter members make any suggested changes to the KFTC platform, set local priorities and goals, decide if they wish to continue as a chapter and, if so, select a Steering Committee representative and alternate and chapter coordinators for membership, fundraising and communications. Nominate yourself or others to KFTC statewide leadership positions: chairperson, vicechairperson, secretary-treasurer, at-large representative on the executive committee, or a board member for the Kentucky Coalition. Nominations close May 31. More information and a nominations form can be found at: kftc.org/nominations.
Please consider accepting a position as a chapter officer for the coming year, starting this fall. Chapter officers are: Steering Committee representative, Steering Committee alternate, fundraising coordinator, membership coordinator and communications coordinator. All are important roles and you will receive training and support. The responsibilities often are shared.
ANNUAL CHAPTER MEETINGS Big Sandy: Tuesday, June 11, 6-8 p.m. at Mountain Muse, 128 S. Front Street in Prestonsburg Central Kentucky: Thursday, June 20, 7-9 p.m., Lexington Friends Meeting House, 649 Price Ave, Lexington Cumberland: Sunday, June 2, 2 to 4 p.m. Laurel County Library, 120 College Park, London Harlan County: Thursday, June 6, 5 to 7 p.m. Rebecca Caudill Public Library, 310 W. Main St., Cumberland Jefferson County: Monday, June 10, 6:30-8 p.m. First Unitarian Church of Louisville 809 S. 4th Street, Louisville. Potluck. Madison County: Monday, June 24, 6:30 p.m. Berea Friends Meeting House 300 Harrison Road, Berea. Potluck. Northern Kentucky: Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Center for Great Neighborhoods 321 W 12th Street, Covington. Potluck. Perry County: Monday, June 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky conference room, 420 Main St, Hazard Rolling Bluegrass: Thursday, June 6, 6:30 p.m. Scott County Public Library, 104 S. Bradford Georgetown. Potluck. Rowan County: Thursday, June 20, 6 p.m. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 145 5th Street, Morehead Shelby County: Thursday, June 20, 6:30-8 p.m. Stratton Community Center 615 W Washington St., Shelbyville Southern Kentucky: Tuesday, June 25 6-7:30 p.m., The Foundry Community Center 531 W 11th Street, Bowling Green Western Kentucky: took place on May 19 Wilderness Trace: Monday, June 3, 7-8:30 p.m. Inter-County Energy Office, 1009 Hustonville Rd., Danville
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 21
KFTC Annual MEMBERSHIP Meeting
Understanding, growing and celebrating KFTC’s year-round Action for Democracy Action for Democracy is KFTC’s year-round approach to building grassroots power to win on election day, increase civic engagement, build a healthy democracy, and pass progressive local, state and federal legislation that improves the quality of life for all Kentuckians. Voter engagement creates an authentic, participatory democracy. We make elected officials more responsive to Kentuckians and we create the environment in which better candidates run and get elected. Join KFTC members from across Kentucky at our annual gathering on August 2-4 on the Berea College campus to learn more about how KFTC’s voter engagement strategy goes hand-in-hand with our issue organizing and how together we can build grassroots power to create lasting change Kentucky. We’ll meet on the campus of Berea College for a weekend of great guest speakers, workshops, social activities and more. The weekend gathering is familyfriendly. Childcare will be offered, and youth are encouraged to participate in all sessions. The weekend begins Friday evening at 7 p.m. Then we begin Saturday morning with an opening session where we orient ourselves to the space and theme of the weekend and begin to dig into a great
day of learning and sharing. Participants will have the opportunity to attend two break-out sessions of their choice from a great lineup of eight different workshops. An afternoon break on Saturday will give folks a chance to stretch their legs or relax our minds. Optional recreational and educational activities will be offered during the break. We’ll come back together on Saturday evening for a fun awards ceremony that recognizes the hard and important work of KFTC leaders throughout the year, and also hear from a powerful, engaging keynote speaker (see below). Sunday morning we’ll have a closing session, which includes our democratic, grassroots business meeting. A schedule is listed on page 23 and online at kftc. org/annual-meeting. More details and speaker bios will be added online as the program takes shape. Lodging will be provided in the dorms. All dorms are fully air-conditioned, and accessible rooms are available. If for some reason the dorms will not work for your lodging needs, you can indicate that when you register and we will work with you to find appropriate accommodations.
If you have questions about the gathering you would like answered before deciding to register, please let us know by contacting KFTC staffperson Michael Harrington at email@example.com or 859-756-4027. Don’t delay. Register now (online at kftc.org/ annual-meeting-registration or use the form on page 24). We expect to fill up quickly, so reserve your spot today. Register by June 28 to lock in the early-bird pricing. Scholarships are available by request.
2019 keynote speaker: Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson The KFTC Leadership Development Committee has confirmed Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson as the keynote speaker at the annual membership meeting in August. She is the co-executive director of the Highlander Research & Education Center in New Market, Tennessee and the first black woman to serve in that position. Woodard Henderson is a 33-year-old Affrilachian (Black Appalachian), working class woman, born and raised in southeast Tennessee. She has served as president of the Black Affairs Association at East
Tennessee State University and the Rho Upsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She is a long-time activist working around issues of mountaintop removal mining, and environmental racism in central and southern Appalachia, and has served on the National Council of the Student Environmental Ac-
tion Coalition. She is an active participant and nationally recognized leader in the Movement for Black Lives and is on the governance council of the Southern Move-
ment Assembly. Most recently, Woodard Henderson was featured on the 2019 Frederick Douglass 200, a list of 200 individuals who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history. The Highlander Center is a social justice leadership training school and cultural center in Tennessee founded in 1932. Through popular education, language justice, participatory research, cultural work, and intergenerational organizing, they help create spaces – at Highlander and in communities – where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. Woodard Henderson’s speech will be on Saturday evening during the annual membership meeting.
Find all the details about the annual meeting at: kftc.org/annual-meeting
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
22 | Balancing the Scales
KFTC Annual Membership Meeting
Disability Justice 101 – learn more at the annual meeting By Tiffany Duncan and Beth Howard "Ableism is connected to all of our struggles because it undergirds notions of whose bodies are considered valuable, desirable, and disposable." – Mia Mingus When you think of the term disability, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of laws, or accessibility, or doctors and treatments. Maybe you think about education or social security or someone you know who lives with a disability. Many of those thoughts are related to the medical industry and creating pathways for disabled people to assimilate into existing societal structures. How d o y o u r thoughts change when the word jus10 Principles of Disability Justice tice is added to disSins Invalid – http://sinsinvalid. ability? What would org/blog/10-principles-ofa just world for evdisability-justice eryone look like? What history do we need to acknowledge? What new ways of living and relating to each other could we imagine? KFTC’s Annual Membership Meeting will feature a Disability Justice 101 workshop where we will examine all of these questions as we explore the principles of disability justice and think about how to make our organizing spaces and communities more inclusive. In the meantime, what do we mean by Disability Justice? And how does this change our organizing work? According to Disability Justice activist Mia Mingus, “Disability justice is a multi-issue political understanding of disability and ableism, moving away from a rights based equality model and beyond just access, to a framework that centers justice and wholeness for all disabled people and communities.” Disability justice goes beyond disability rights – as many disability justice activists say “beyond ramps and chairs.” It is relevant to all of us, the disabled and the not-yet disabled, because one of its principles is collective liberation. Recognizing that ableism interlocks with all the other forms of oppression and that we all experience it to varying degrees because it is built into
our society, we are called to challenge our beliefs about what is normal and worthy. Our friends at Resource Generation shared a great blog post on disability justice where they share work by Mingus, as well as disability justice activist Stacey Milbern. The blog post references how the disability justice movement parallels the environmental justice movement and this can be a helpful reference for those of us at KFTC as we are learning more. Milbern points to the emergence of the environmental justice movement as a response to the mainstream environmental movement’s focus on conservation of natural resources which did not take into consideration how poor people and people of color experience a higher incidence of environmental hazard both in the U.S. and internationally. Environmental justice challenges racism and classism inherent in environmental policy decisions. Disability justice pushes the movement for disability rights to look beyond accessibility and services for people with disabilities to how issues such as race, class, gender and sexuality impact the experience of being disabled. It challenges us to not only advocate for people with disabilities, but to build a more inclusive and justice-based movement. Some of other concepts that are tenets of disability justice are the importance of self care and understanding community care and interdependence. Often organizing and activist work lends itself to a culture of long
hours, high stress and never ending to-do lists which are all rooted in ableism. Disability Justice challenges us to care for ourselves, rest, ask for help and to realize that we need one another. It pushes us from the culture of individualism that is dominant in ableism and shifts us to a model of connection and community where we support one another and ask for help. And there’s so much more! Disability Justice is foundational to all of our work yet it’s usually a growing edge for most of us. Come to our workshop “Disability Justice 101: Community Care for Every Body” to learn more. Also, check out the activists and resources below for self study or for a book group or sharing with fellow KFTC members and allies in your area. This article was largely adapted from: https://resourcegeneration.org/2011/11/24/what-disability-justice-has-tooffer-social-justice/ written by Theo Yang Copley _________ Resources • • • •
Skin, Tooth, and Bone by Sins Invalid Care Work; Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure by Eli Clare Leaving Evidence blog (Mia Mingus)
Are you crafty? A collector? A great cook? Here’s your chance to share your passion and support KFTC.
Each year at our annual meeting we have a silent auction. It’s a great opportunity for quilters, jam makers, painters, photographers and collectors to bring something special and raise funds for KFTC’s work. All items are on display for most of the weekend, and the bidding creates some friendly competition. Now’s a great time to start working on a special item you can contribute to support KFTC and make the August 2-4 weekend more fun. Hand-made items are especially popular, but if that’s not your talent, you might think about asking a business in your community to donate an item. Or if you have something at home that you’ve enjoyed and think others might, too – bring it with you! Gently used items like pottery and art are welcome. But please resist the urge to bring everything you would put in a yard sale – KFTC will have to pack up everything that doesn’t sell. A well-chosen item or two will be much appreciated! And here’s another idea: you can donate a service or an experience. A massage, cooking lesson, or gift certificate to a bed-and-breakfast make great silent auction items. If you have questions about the silent auction, give us a call at 606-878-2161.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 23
KFTC Annual MEMBERSHIP Meeting
Schedule of Activities FRIDAY, AUGUST 2 4 p.m.
Changing the Landscape: Running for Office as a Woman and Person of Color in Kentucky. Join us for a panel discussion featuring women and people of color who have recently run for office in Kentucky sharing their experiences and insights.
Social Activity – film screening, Berea music festival, KFTC game night, more SATURDAY, AUGUST 3
7:30 a.m. Registration Opens and Breakfast 9 a.m.
Morning Program and Opening
10:15 a.m. Group Photo 10:45 a.m. Workshops Round 1(choose one) Skill Up! Action For Democracy Tools for Grassroots Leaders – To win in 2019 and 2020, it’s going to take all of us. Through hands-on mini-trainings, you’ll learn how to have these conversations through new digital tools, life hacks for talking with strangers, and social-science-based strategies to make your message more effective. You’ll leave the workshop feeling more confident to talk with your family, friends, and neighbors about the role elections can play in the issues that matter to them. Who We Are & What We Do: Introduction to KFTC and Grassroots Organizing – Are you new to Kentuckians For The Commonwealth or are unfamiliar with grassroots organizing? This workshop is a great way to learn about KFTC, what grassroots organizing is and isn’t, and why we believe organizing is the best way to build grassroots power, develop leaders and create long-lasting change. From Apathy to Action: Climate Talk that Works – Are you talking about climate change with your friends and family? For a lot of Kentuckians, we avoid talking about it because it feels like climate change isn’t something that resonates with our communities. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will
build a collective set of skills and strategies to talk about climate change in a way that moves us from apathy to action. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how climate change impacts us in Kentucky and concrete examples of how and why we must act on climate. Building Resiliency Through Mindfulness: Finding Balance in an Imbalanced World – When something challenging happens, how well do you recover? Well-being and resilience are skills we can learn and cultivate in our personal lives, our organizing and our communities. In this workshop we’ll discuss what is mindfulness, different mindfulness practices, and collectively share skills and resources that are available in our areas so we can leave the workshop being more equipped to build resiliency into our life. Second Chances: Voting Rights for People with Felonies in Their Past – Part of building a healthy, participatory democracy means that voting includes everyone. But one in eleven voting-age Kentuckians don’t have the right to vote because Kentucky has the harshest felony disenfranchisement laws in the U.S. We’ll learn what we can do in our individual chapters and communities to make history and restore voting rights to thousands of Kentuckians! Disability Justice 101: Community Care for Every Body – In this workshop, participants will examine how ableism intersects with other socially constructed identities to reinforce systemic oppression. Participants will be introduced to disability justice principles and explore strategies for advancing accessibility, inclusion and liberation. Attendees will be challenged to think critically about how people living with both visible and invisible disabilities might experience erasure, discrimination, microaggressions and violence. They will imagine alternatives to the messages in our society that keeps us separate and gives privilege to those more able-bodied. Democracy in Action: Engaging and Empowering a Base of Kentucky Voters – Do you want to learn how you can engage and empower voters in your community? KFTC believes that fostering relationships with voters before, during and after election day is key to building a progressive political base. And door-to-door canvassing is the best way to build relationships with voters and empower them to take action all year long. This workshop will give you the
Once you register you can download to your mobile device all program details and plan your weekend on the Sched platform. tools for planning and running a door-to-door canvass in your community. My New Kentucky Home: Renovating Housing Policy – Home is a place to spend time with loved ones, rest and rejuvenate for the day to come. But for many Kentuckians, this isn’t an option. We have an opportunity to take down the walls and barriers to housing and renovate Kentucky’s housing policy. Alison Johnson of Housing Justice League in Atlanta will help us by sharing about Georgia’s recent passage of a statewide housing bill Angela Briggs will share stories and experience from field organizing for renters’ rights in Barren County. 12:15 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m. Workshops Round 2 (same set of workshops as Round 1) 3 p.m.
Afternoon Break – enjoy free time or join a tour of the Berea Urban Farm with Sustainable Berea
5:30 p.m. Dinner 6:45 p.m. Keynote and Awards Ceremony 9:30 p.m. Social Activity SUNDAY, AUGUST 4 7:30 a.m. Breakfast 9 a.m.
Up From the Grassroots: Building Inclusive, Unstoppable Leadership In this dynamic session, we will use music, stories and visuals to understand what grassroots, community leadership looks like, celebrate the contributions grassroots leaders make in Kentucky, and build out where our grassroots leadership needs to go in 2019 and beyond.
10:30 a.m. Annual Business Meeting and Closing Session This is the time when we review and vote on KFTC’s issue platform, elect statewide officers, and approve new and returning KFTC chapters. 12 p.m.
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
24 | Balancing the Scales
KFTC Annual MEMBERSHIP Meeting
Registration Name(s) ______________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City, State Zip _________________________________________________________________________ Phone ____________________________________ Email _____________________________________ Total number of adults ____
Total number of children ____
LODGING All lodging will be in Berea College dorm rooms. All dorm rooms are air-conditioned and accessible rooms are available upon request. Bathrooms are shared with others on the same floor. Will you be staying overnight with us? ___ Friday night only ___ Saturday night only ___ Friday and Saturday nights ___ I don’t need lodging or will be making my own arrangements In most cases, rooms are double-occupancy. If there are 3 or more people in your party, would you like more than one room? ___ Not applicable ___ Please give us two rooms next to each other ___ We would all like to be in the same dorm room and will bring our own sleeping bag ___ We need a different lodging option. Please call us to see if other arrangements can be made. Accessibility ___ I need a handicap accessible dorm room ___ I need a first-floor room and/or elevator ___ I have another accessibility request. Please specify: _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ Room or suite-mate preference Please list other people who might also be attending that you would like to share a room with. We will do our best to honor requests but can’t guarantee it. _________________________________________ _________________________________________
Any other special considerations for lodging? _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ If you have questions about lodging or accessibility requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. MEALS – included in the cost of your registration Meals you will be in attendance for ___ Friday dinner (6 p.m.) ___ Saturday breakfast (7:30 a.m.) ___ Saturday lunch (12:15 p.m.) ___ Saturday dinner (5:30 p.m.) ___ Sunday breakfast (7:30 a.m.)
Please complete this form to register for the Annual Meeting and mail the entire page with payment to KFTC, P.O. Box 1450, London KY 40743. You also can register at kftc.org/ annual-meeting-registration Do you have any special childcare needs or requests? _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ TRANSPORTATION ___ I am driving myself ___ I can offer a ride to others ___ I need a ride COST Registration fees help KFTC offset a portion of the expense of our annual meeting. We appreciate your contribution to this important weekend! Prices for one adult, full weekend: • With meals and lodging: $80 before June 28; $100 after June 28. • With meals (no lodging): $40 before June 28; $60 after June 28. Prices for one adult, Saturday only: • Includes Saturday’s meals: $25 before June 28; $45 after June 28
Do you have any special dietary preferences? ___ No restrictions ___ No pork ___ Gluten-free ___ Vegetarian ___ Vegan ___ Other, please specify: _________________________________________ CHILDCARE Do you need childcare? Please list their names & ages: Name:
When will you need childcare? ___ For the full conference ___ For only select times which are:
Prices for one adult, just Friday or just Sunday or other: contact KFTC for pricing Children and Youth Pricing: • Children 12 and under are free • Children 12 and older suggested donation of $15 to cover the cost of meals How are you paying? ___ Payment is enclosed ___ I request a full or partial scholarship (we’ll be in touch with you) ___ I request a payment plan (you can enclose a partial payment now) Please make a check or money order payable to KFTC and put “Annual meeting registration” in the note field. Mail this form and payment to: KFTC P.O. Box 1450 London, KY 40743
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 25
Remembering Tom Pearce’s passion for people and justice Tom Pearce, 58, a former KFTC staff member, passed away on April 23. By K.A. Owens I knew and worked with Tom Pearce on many issues over the years. Tom brought me in to the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC. Tom brought a lot of good people in to the organization. He was a good organizer who sincerely cared about all of our issues. I took many a road trip with Tom and always enjoyed the camaraderie that built up among the volunteers on those trips in that van that he owned for many years. Many a good organizing story was told on those road trips. Tom Pearce was the Jefferson County KFTC Organizer for several years starting in 1999. When he first began with KFTC he also staffed Central Kentucky as well. He built up both chapters until they were thriving parts of the organization. In Louisville in 1998, the social justice community decided that police reform was an issue that needed to be focused on. We decided to concentrate on the police aspect of the prison industrial complex. During that era the Jefferson County KFTC chapter was a key element of the police reform movement in Louisville. We brought people together and started working on the issue. We picked Citizens Against Police Abuse as the name of the group and also decided that CAPA
would be a coalition. the Sierra Club as the There will be a memorial ceremony for Tom on CAPA eventually became senior organizer for the Saturday, June 1 at Bethany United Methodist a coalition of over 30 civil Beyond Coal Campaign Church, 6100 Moorman Road in Louisville. rights and religious orgain western Kentucky and nizations. Louisville. Tom was a very well known leader of the The original base of coalition was the Jeffer- American Indian Movement, including co-chair of son County KFTC Chapter, the Kentucky Alliance AIM Indiana-Kentucky and member of the Grand Against Racist and Political Repression, the Justice Governing Council. Resource Center, American Civil Liberties Union of He served on the board of the Kentucky Alliance Kentucky and the Fairness Campaign, later joined by Against Racist and Political Repression in two differmany others. ent historical periods, where he had previously been a There was a tremendous amount of organizing paid organizer. activity during that era. There were two or three CAPA “Always bigger than life and a heart the size of meetings a week, not including press conferences, the sun, Tommy tried every day to make this world marches, protests, forums and rallies. CAPA meetings a better place,” wrote Tom’s sister, Alyson Griffith on included everyone from teenagers to senior citizens, Facebook. “He was not one of, but the most passiongay and straight, rich and poor, White and Black and ate person I’ve ever known. He fought for what he everything in between. believed was right no matter if it was wrong in the One of our projects was a civilian review of police eyes of countless others. He beat to his own drum, for ordinance, which we did get passed over the mayor’s that there is no doubt. He would take a bullet to the veto. This ordinance was allowed to sunset (expire) heart if he thought it would spare the hurt and lives of after the new merged government came into being in others.” 2003. The CAPA era was one of the most intensive “He was fearless, and never hesitated to stand periods of organizing activity in Louisville. It brought up to injustice,” said Christine Jones. “He's a great a lot of great people together and created a situation organizer who's always inspired me to persevere, even where a lot of good people developed their organizing when the fight against injustice seems useless. We have and leadership skills. to carry on that spirit. The late Anne Braden and the late Rev. Louis “I first got to know Tom when I was the faculty Coleman were there to hand down their spirit and advisor to the Progressive Students League at the Unitheir skills. It was a dynamic era that lives on in the versity of Louisville in the late 1980s. He had the memory of the people. Tom Pearce played a strong role courage of his convictions and the courage to act on in that effort, particularly in bringing young people to them,” reflected Erik Lewis. “Tom ended up teachthe cause. ing me a lot, particularly about having courage. I am After leaving the KFTC staff, Tom continued forever grateful for the courage he brought into this to contribute in many other ways. Tom worked for world.”
Tom Pearce, left, with Erik Lewis in 2011 at KFTC’s 30th anniversary celebration.
“I remember Tom as a tireless organizer and community builder. He had a huge heart, and felt both the pain and the joy of this work intensely. Tom was relentless about asking people to get involved in social justice efforts, and he was equally happy to do so while driving his taxi cab, calling through a phone list or passing out leaflets. More often than not, people showed up! We showed up because his energy and passion was genuine, and because he was really hard to say no to. I already miss Tom, and am grateful for the years he shared with us.” — Lisa Abbott
“Tom Pearce was one of the first organizers I met when I moved to Kentucky and I am so glad for it. He grounded me in the reality of the exploitation and resiliency of people. He connected the many dots of the current struggles to the centuries-old genocide of indigenous Kentuckians. Whenever I would talk with him about a bill or a piece of policy we were fighting for, he would always push me to think about how direct action and mobilizing communities could be more central to the strategy. More than once he repeated the Frederick Douglass quote to me, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” I will miss him dearly.” — Tyler Offerman
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
26 | Balancing the Scales
KFTC hiring donor officer
Chandra Cruz-Thomson and Corey Dutton join KFTC staff in Louisville KFTC has welcomed two new members to its staff. Chandra Cruz-Thomson is the new chapter organizer for Jefferson County. Cruz-Thomson has been a KFTC chapter leader, including representing Jefferson County on the KFTC Steering Committee. She is a queer Chicanx community organizer, plant lover Chandra Cruz-Thomson and pup cuddler. She is a graduate of the first KFTC Organizing Academy cohort who uses her blessings and survivor skills to empower people to engage in that process, so that together we can realize a more just, sustainable and loving world. Corey Dutton is the new organizer apprentice for Jefferson County, a one-year position.
Dutton grew up in eastern Kentucky and always said she would move out of state – but fell in love with Louisville and Kentucky organizing. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s in History and French. She is passionate about building a better, progressive South, and believes that Kentucky will be a leader in this process. In her (minimal) spare time, Corey is a complete book nerd and can be found reading anything and everything on her front porch. Molly Kaviar will be leaving the KFTC staff to pursue a graduate degree at Tufts University in Boston. Kaviar most recently worked as the interim Jefferson County chapter organizer, after more than three years as the Southern Kentucky organizer. Corey Dutton
KFTC is hiring! We are seeking a Donor Officer to build a donor engagement program for KFTC that engages new and current donors, builds our donor base, and moves donors up the ladder of engagement in support of KFTC’s vision. We’re looking for someone with development experience who shares KFTC’s vision for Kentucky and would like to support that vision by building our donor base. This position is full-time and requires some travel and flexibility. Specifically, we’re seeking: • • • •
Five years of experience with development, preferably major donor fundraising Understanding of grassroots community organizing and social justice issues in Kentucky Highly motivated and self-directed Organized and reliable, able to juggle multiple projects and commitments • Excellent written and oral communications skills • Experience and familiarity with databases preferred The position will be open until filled, with a start date as early as July 1. For more information go to kftc. org/jobs. Or send a resume, cover letter and three references (include name, email and phone number) to email@example.com.
Support KFTC’s Action for Democracy year-round in Kentucky! Name(s): ________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________ City, state & Zip: __________________________________________
Give online at kftc.org/support
I would rather make a one-time gift of: □$100 □$50 □$25 □$15 □$5 Other: $__________ Suggested dues are $15-$50 annually, based on ability to pay. Any amount is welcome.
Step Two: Payment Method:
□ Check or money order enclosed
□ Electronic Funds Transfer (best option for Sustaining Givers). Please return this form with a voided check.
Select which organization you would like to donate to: □ KFTC: Donations to KFTC are not tax-deductible. We encourage you to give to KFTC this spring to support our democracy work.
□ Kentucky Coalition: Donations to Kentucky Coalition are tax-deductible.
Become A Sustaining Giver: Sustaining Givers provide steady income to support KFTC’s
work throughout the year. And being a Sustaining Giver allows you to make a bigger impact.
Make me a Sustaining Giver! I will contribute $ _____ every:
□ Month □ Quarter □ Year
To update an existing Sustaining Gift, contact Ashley at 606-878-2161 or Ashley@kftc.org
□ Credit card: Complete information below.
□ Visa □ Mastercard □ Am. Express □ Discover
Card Number: __ __ __ __ -__ __ __ __ -__ __ __ __ -__ __ __ __ Expiration Date ___ ___ / ___ ___ Authorized Signature: ____________________________ Date: _________________ Mail this form with your check to: KFTC • P.O. Box 1450 • London, Ky. 40743
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
Balancing the Scales | 27
calendar of events
KFTC OFFICES and STAFF MAIN OFFICE
June 2 Cumberland chapter meeting 2-4 p.m., Laurel County Public library 120 College Park Dr. in London Info: Angel@kftc.org or 606-261-4955
June 20 Rowan County chapter meeting 6 p.m. at St. Albans Church, 145 E. 5th Street, Morehead Info: Nikita@kftc.org or 502-488-3830
Morgan Brown, Burt Lauderdale, Ashley Frasher and Angel Hill 131 North Mill Street P.O. Box 1450 London, KY 40743 606-878-2161 | Fax: 606-878-5714
June 3 Wilderness Trace chapter meeting 7 p.m. at InterCounty Energy 1009 Hustonville Road, Danville Info: Tyler@kftc.org or 859-276-0563
June 20 Shelby County chapter meeting 6:30 p.m. at the Stratton Center 215 Washington Street, Shelbyville Info: Carissa@kftc.org or 502-741-8759
June 6 ORSANCO Commission meeting to consider enforcement of water quality standards See story on page 19 9 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel Riverfront 668 West 5th Street in Covington Info: Joe@kftc.org or 859-380-6103
June 20 Central Kentucky chapter meeting 7 p.m., Lexington Friends Meeting House, 649 Price Ave. in Lexington Info: Meredith@kftc.org or 859-276-0563
June 6 Harlan County chapter meeting 5 p.m at the Rebecca Caudill Public Library 310 W. Main St. in Cumberland Info: Angel@kftc.org or 606-261-4955 June 6 Rolling Bluegrass chapter meeting 6:30 p.m., Scott County Public Library 104 S. Bradford, Georgetown Info: Joe@kftc.org or 859-380-6103 June 10 Jefferson County chapter meeting 6:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church 809 S. 4th St., Louisville Info: Chandra@kftc.org or 502-589-3188 June 11 Big Sandy chapter meeting 6 p.m. at the Mountain Muse 128 S Front Street in Prestonsburg Info: Jacob@kftc.org or 606-497-9262 June 18 Northern Kentucky chapter meeting 7 p.m. at Center for Great Neighborhoods 321 ML King Boulevard, Covington Info: Joe@kftc.org or 859-380-6103
June 24 Perry County chapter meeting, 5:30 p.m. Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky office 420 Main Street in Hazard Info: Jacob@kftc.org or 606-497-9262 June 24 and July 22 Madison County chapter meetings 6:30 p.m. Berea Friends Meeting House 300 Harrison Road, Berea Info: Sasha@kftc.org or 859-358-9713 June 25 Southern Kentucky chapter meeting 6 p.m. at The Foundry 531 W 11th Ave. in Bowling Green Info: Laura@kftc.org or 502-599-3989 July 6 KFTC Steering Committee meeting Friday at 7 p.m. to Saturday 4:30 p.m. Location: TBD Info: Michael@kftc.org or 859-756-4027 August 2-4 KFTC Annual Membership Meeting Berea College Information on pages 20-24
Louisville Eâ€™Beth Adami, Alicia Hurle, Carissa Lenfert, Chandra Cruz-Thomson, Corey Dutton and Molly Kaviar 735 Lampton Street #202 Louisville, KY 40203 502-589-3188 Bowling Green Laura Harper Knight and Alexa Hatcher 958 Collett Ave., Suite 500 Bowling Green, KY 42101 270-282-4553 Northern Kentucky Joe Gallenstein, Caitlin Sparks and Dave Newton 640 Main Street Covington, KY 41005 859-380-6103 Central Kentucky Jessica Hays Lucas, Beth Howard, Heather Mahoney, Laura Greenfield, Erik Hungerbuhler, Tyler Offerman, Meredith Wadlington, Tayna Fogle, Nikita Perumal 250 Plaza Drive, Suite 4 Lexington, KY 40503 859-276-0563 Floyd County Jessie Skaggs, Jerry Hardt, Jacob Mack-Boll and Taylor Adams 152 North Lake Drive P.O. Box 864 Prestonsburg, KY 41653 606-263-4982 Berea Lisa Abbott, Amy Hogg, Sasha Zaring and Michael Harrington 210 N. Broadway #3 Berea, KY 40403
Email any staff member at firstname.lastname@example.org except for Beth Howard use email@example.com and Laura Greenfield use firstname.lastname@example.org
28 | Balancing the Scales
www.kftc.org | May 22, 2019
The latest news and updates from KFTC.